New structure and more pay tempt students back to nursing

September 3, 1999

The number of students taking up places on nursing degree courses has leapt 20 per cent this year, according to the latest UCAS figures.

It follows the introduction of a new career and grading structure for nurses and a 12 per cent pay increase for the most junior positions.

A rise of 3.7 per cent in the number of people accepting places in medicine has also followed this year's increase in doctors' training places.

But the number going into teacher training continues to slump - down 2.5 per cent this year - along with science and languages.

Compared with last year, chemistry is down 5.7 per cent, physics 5.9 per cent and mechanical engineering 10 per cent. The number of students accepting language combination places is down 7.5 per cent.

Computer science is the second most popular course, after business and management studies, with a 16.9 per cent increase in acceptances. Sports science is also flourishing, with a 15.5 per cent increase, as is music, which is up 10.3 per cent.

Law continues to grow, with 2.5 per cent more students accepting places on degree courses and 31.9 per cent on HND courses.

History degree courses are up 1.5 per cent and geography 6.2 per cent, but English is down

0.8 per cent and sociology 5.2 per cent.

UCAS chief executive Tony Higgins said teacher training numbers were likely to improve over the next three or four weeks because many students were recruited through clearing.

The number of people accepting places on postgraduate certificates in education courses is up by 3.6 per cent.

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